Horribly Wrong: Kyle Higgins On The Shocking New Character In ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ #9
When Boom's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series began earlier this year, setting its story in the days after Tommy's arrival as the Green Ranger, it immediately started expanding on what Ranger fans already knew from the show. There were new dynamics in place, new powers for the villains, and even new reveals, such as the fact that Rita Repulsa had approached other characters with the power of the Green Ranger before settling on Tommy. And in the second arc, we got a brand new villain.
Now, at the end of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9, that new villain's identity has been revealed, and it's one of the most unexpected and surprising plot twists that we've seen in a good long while. To find out more about this development, ComicsAlliance spoke to Kyle Higgins about creating this new character alongside artist Hendry Prasetya and designer Jamal Campbell. Read on, but be warned: Major spoilers for this week's issue follow.
SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT:
As revealed on the final page of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9, the villain who's been behind the Black Dragon is a Power Ranger from a parallel world --- a world where the bad guys won, and where a giant statue of Rita Repulsa stands next to a statue of the Green Ranger. And as for the new Ranger himself, while his identity has yet to be revealed, he certainly has a familiar look that combines the Green and White Ranger designs from the TV show.
ComicsAlliance: Ever since Tommy first appeared on the show as the Green Ranger and literally kicked everyone through the windshield of the Megazord, the idea of an evil Power Ranger is one that’s been extremely compelling for fans. How do you approach doing your own take on it that sets it apart from things we’ve already seen on the show?
Kyle Higgins: I think the idea of a dark mirror character is always fascinating. At least, it is to me. For the same reason that Darth Vader, Jason Todd (when he was a villain), and MI6-agents-turned-against-Bond always stir interest; I find the idea of a character who started heroic but went horribly wrong — or the experience went horribly wrong — to be a wonderful opportunity to show the other side of the coin, so to speak.
In a lot of ways, it’s world building — fleshing out a concept by showing alternate angles and versions of it. And, I’m not saying that our new Ranger necessarily started good, but what I am saying is that the very notion of a Power Ranger is built on heroic and altruistic ideals. So, exploring a Ranger who does not embody those ideals can make for really exciting and interesting exploration. What happened to them? How did they get their powers? What do they believe? Why do they hate the established Rangers?
The key is building a backstory, motivation, and “want” that’s both relatable and makes sense within the established world. I use Kylo Ren as an example: One of the best things about the new Star Wars, to me, is the idea of a villain who’s being tempted by the light. It’s a really cool, compelling inversion on the dynamic of “Jedi tempted by darkness.” So, it fits in within the world and does something new, and then with the addition of his backstory (at least, who his parents are) makes him someone the audience wants to invest in.
CA: Given the statue that we see and the costume that he’s wearing, this new Ranger definitely seems like he has a familiar face underneath his helmet. Is there anything you can tells us about him before we get to the next phase of the story?
KH: I mean, I understand that line of thinking, sure. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say his design was intended to do that. Obviously, there are elements of the Green Ranger as well as the White Ranger — the real question is, what happened to allow that? Who is this person, where do they come from, and what happened on their world? I won’t say too much more about him at this point, other than his is a story I’m incredibly excited to start doling out. It’s a bit on the darker side, as far as Power Rangers goes, and a bit tragic. Or at least, I think it is.
CA: One thing I really like about Power Rangers is how it blends American superheroes with Japanese tokusatsu tropes, so I’m curious to know how informed this is by Western comics and ideas like Earth-3. What did you look to for inspiration?
KH: Yeah, that’s a great reference point. I’ve always loved alternate worlds, timelines, and characters. If done well, they play to that “dark mirror” quality I mentioned before. They can also serve as really interesting cautionary tales and morality plays, right? We’re going to have some of that here. This Ranger is definitely influenced by some “What If…” questions, among many other things, including the real world.
CA: We've already talked about how our new villain is a combination of the Green and White Rangers. Will we see any of Tommy’s other future roles being reflected here? Like, is that spiky hair from Dino Thunder going to show up?
KH: Ha! As much as I love the spiky hair, I will neither confirm nor deny that we’ll ever see it in the book.
CA: Obviously, the question that everyone wants to know: What are Bulk and Skull like on this other world?
KH: Oh, they’ve got a role in this world. And… it’s pretty sick, I’ve got to say. When they show up, they very well might steal the show.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9 is available online and in stores now.